Doctor Who, Story 29: The Tenth Planet
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As a special bonus, there are the Cybermen. Don't be fooled as I was by the still photos which gave them a cheesy appearance. They don't appear terrifying at all until you see them in action. The lip action and voice characterization are nothing less than chilling. I first saw the Cybermen in "Revenge" then later in "Earthshock" and "Attack" and found them scary enough then. Now that I've seen "Tenth" I realize that they actually got less and less scary as time went on, which makes this one the scariest ever.
The reconstruction of the unfortunately missing final episode is surprisingly and absolutely brilliant. The audio track is complete and there are stills that refresh every couple of seconds. The only times that I was reminded that it was a reconstruction was when lines of text would scroll across the bottom of the screen to depict what was happening or when brief clips of actual film would delightfully appear. And the regeneration scene is complete. So there is not much that is missing after all.
Bottom line, get this one.
It's Polly! She, Ben and the Doctor just landed in the TARDIS, and decided to explore. In short order, soldiers appear from a hatch and take our trio down into the buried base. They're at the South Pole Base of International Space Command, and the suspicious C.O., General Cutler, doesn't buy their story of landing in "a sort of spaceship".
However, the General has more to worry about. The Doctor informs him that a 10th planet has appeared. Not only is its gravitational pull affecting Zeus IV, but it is draining the power from the capsule, endangering the astronauts.
Before you can say "cyber-bully", three robot-like aliens infiltrate and take over the base. Their leader, Krail, explains that the new planet is Mondas, their home. "Eons ago, our planets were twins. We drifted away from you on a journey to the edge of space. Now we have returned.... We are called Cybermen.... We were exactly like you once, but our cybernetic scientists realized that our race was getting weak."
The news only gets worse, as Krail continues: "The energy of Mondas is nearly exhausted and now returns to its twin and will gather energy from Earth... until it is all gone.... Everything on Earth will stop." But never fear, the cybermen will save some of the humans - to take back to Mondas for conversion into cybermen.
If ever the Doctor was needed to save Earth, this is it.Read more ›
But there are still enough good elements to recommend this video. The early Cybermen are a fascinating creation both on paper and in their conception. Sandra Reid's innovative costumes are quite impressive given DW's limited resources, and the one-time only sing-song voices created by Roy Skelton and Peter Hawkins are decidedly creepy. William Hartnell gives a dignified performance, and while his screentime is limited, he does get off a few choice lines of dialogue.Read more ›
The recent BBC releases of stories featuring William Hartnell, the First Doctor, have been exemplary, and this VHS continues the trend. The first 3 episodes of "Tenth Planet" -- long seen only on dim, bootlegged, Nth generation copies of the original -- are nearly pristine. Episode 4 is reconstructed using existing still photos, the audio track, and a few well-used video effects which serve to add to the pictures, not detract from them. (It's heartening to note that for this story, the "restoration" team did not seek to alter the existing footage by replacing scenes with outtakes, or digitally "correcting" old special effects, as was done with the ill-advised "The Five Doctors -- Special Edition")
The seminal moment here is the First Doctor's death, and subsequent regeneration into another Doctor, another actor. Using 8mm film footage, this video presents the complete regeneration, and it's wonderful to watch. The sequence is an innovative bit of studio-bound 1960s TV direction and is most impressive.
The story itself doesn't hold up perfectly -- it was, after all, made 35 years ago and will come across as archaic, no matter how it's packaged and presented -- but most "Doctor Who" fans should be willing to overlook the inherent flaws and enjoy the story on its own terms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was glad that most of the episodes were there but slightly disappointed that the final pivotal one where the Doctor changes bodies was not and is only offered in piecemeal with... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Sara
Any hardcore Dr. Who fan will want to see this episode. It is the last William Hartnell performance and the first appearance of the cybermen. Read morePublished 2 months ago by No BS guy
I've only seen two first Doctor serials, this one, and The Daleks. This is the introduction of the Cybermen, and the first regeneration episode. Read morePublished 6 months ago by AwesomeDude
An excellent finale to the first Doctor's tenure. Even with tin-can suits and masks that look like balaclavas, the casual and unconcerned attitude the Cybermen demonstrate toward... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Squire
FInally have this landmark story. The first Cybermen story, Harnell's farewell, the first Regeneration, Troughton's introduction. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Robert L Przygrodzki
Oh what memories of the BBC back in 1966! Thank heavens the Cybermen were not lost the way other BBC tapes were at that time.Published 14 months ago by michael w
Nice fill in animation for the story. There were more fragments of the last missing story than I had thought. Curious to know where they got those other fragments. Read morePublished 16 months ago by James Geer
William Hartnell's last show. He regenerates into Patrick Troughton at the end of the show. This story is well written and is the first time we see the cybermen and learn about... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mike Volpe